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Cardinals Reportedly Leaning 1 Way With Franchise Tag

Arizona Cardinals Training Camp

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 28: Linebacker Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals warms-up during the Red & White Practice at State Farm Stadium on August 28, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Before rushing passers in 2022, Chandler Jones could become one of the NFL's most decorated defenders to hit the open market.

NFL.com's Adam Maya relayed a report from colleague Ian Rapoport (via Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio) that the Arizona Cardinals are not expected to apply the franchise tag on Jones. That will make the 32-year-old a free agent following his fourth Pro Bowl campaign.

According to Rapoport, the Cardinals still want to bring back Jones. However, they're balking at a franchise tender that'd award Jones approximately $24.2 million for the 2022 season.

Despite Arizona's hopes of retaining the prized pass-rusher, ESPN's Josh Weinfuss reported earlier this week that Jones was unlikely to remain with the team.

Returning from a biceps injury that cost him all but five games in 2020, Jones recorded 10.5 sacks -- five in Week 1 -- and six forced fumbles in 15 games last season. As the former New England Patriots star previously noted on Twitter, he leads the NFL in both categories since getting drafted in 2012.

The Cardinals have until Tuesday's deadline to reach a decision. With only about $2.74 million in cap space, per Spotrac, it seems unlikely they find the funds to keep Jones on their front seven.